If you follow us on Twitter you will have noticed an unprecedented number of tweets yesterday – 30 January. The cause? The Year 11 Football Team were in action. Out of 568 team nationally – and only the really good teams enter – our lads made it to the last 16 of the ESFA Boys Under 16 Premier League Schools Cup. This meant a long trip down to Somerset to face Churchill Academy. It was a cold, sunny day and our boys were definitely up for a battle.
We had three shots on goal before, against the run of play, Churchill went 1-0 up. Downlands continued to build the pressure and eventually it paid off with a great goal from Adam Lindo making it 1-1 at half time. Both sides played great football in the second half with shots on goal each end. Another great goal from Adam put Downlands ahead on 64 minutes. Downlands had shot after shot on target – the Churchill goalie making great saves. With 5 minutes to go, Churchill equalised and the score stayed 2-2 to force extra time.
It was a nerve wracking period but Downlands maintained the pressure and the lads came close to scoring several times. Extra time finished at 2-2. And so we faced the dreaded penalty shoot out. Having dominated play and battled so convincingly it was a cruel way to finish the match. As Franz Beckenbauer said “Penalty shooting is always an uncertain affair because there is a lot of luck involved.” It wasn’t our lucky day. The Churchill goalie made another terrific save and broke Downlands hearts on the pitch in Somerset and back here at school in Hassocks.
But what an achievement – we are so very proud of our lads. They are still in local competitions so we look forward to cheering them on.
The Downlands Year 11 Football Team is : Angus Hill, Luke Goff, Ollie Charlesworth, Josh Hickingbotham, Ed Turns, Oli Munt, Shay Leahy, Charlie Jones, Sam Wright, Adam Lindo, Tom Roberts, Cam West, Ollie Appaya, Dexter Webb and Logan Lee.